By Austin Brown
My topic is the use of performance enhancing drugs by professional athletes. This is important because with the increasing popularity of professional sports today, athletes have this need to get bigger and better, faster than the competition. But is it ok to use a drug that makes the sport easier and causes athletes to work less towards their goal and achieve the same results? Some say that this ruins competition, and some say that athletes should be able to do it because they are throwing their body on the line for our entertainment.
Article 1: “Usain Bolt loses gold medal 8 years after his win. How common is that?” – The Christian Science Monitor, January 25, 2017
This article focuses on the recent discovery of Naste Carter, a member of Usain Bolt’s gold metal 4×100 team in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing use of methylhexanamine which is a banned substance. The International Olympic Committee is there for confiscating all the team member’s gold metals from that event. This ruins Usain Bolt’s “triple threat” of winning three gold medals in three track events for three Olympics in a row. This article is clearly against the use of performance enhancing drugs it quotes its own companies board by saying that “Illegal drug-doping damages the concept of fair play that beats at the heart of any sports competition…” and “Unless it is curtailed,” doping will make a mockery of both track, and the Olympics. People will not appreciate watching the sport because they know that the athletes are cheating. The article also comes at the recent discovery of “government-backed” steroid use by Russian athletes which has “Proven to be a major problem for international sports competitions.” This article is on the far-right side of the spectrum. Sticking with traditional, conservative values of competition and fairness. Also, the name of the news provider is “The Christian Science Monitor”, which screams conservative.
Article 2: This Class Proves Hall can Forgive” – USA Today, January 19, 1027
Recently, the Baseball Hall of Fame had voting for the 2017 Hall of Fame Class, among the inductees is Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriquez. Both played during the “Steroid Era” of Major League Baseball; a decade of high performance enhancing drug use by players. The two inductees were both accused of PED use, but never tested for them. Bagwell admitted to using androstenedione in 1998, a now illegal drug, but it was not illegal when Bagwell used it. Rodriguez was accused of steroid use by teammate Jose Cansesco in 2005. Although the two were never tested and found positive for use, it hurt their chances to get into the Hall of Fame because using PEDs is looked upon as cheating. But the voting class did not seem to care about their alleged drug use when they voted them in. This article certainly has a more forgiving view on steroid use than the last article. This article talks of the player’s accomplishments rather than use, showing that the writer really did not care about the PED use, or use at all. This article is on the left side of the spectrum, it has a more liberal view on the use of steroids taking the side of it isn’t cheating. The article uses words like “softening” and it brings up the fact that when Bagwell used the drug it wasn’t illegal. Also, USA Today is known for a more liberal view on issues in the world. This article takes a softer use on PED use than the last article, which was very against doping and PEDs. Thus, showing the everlasting battle between liberal and conservative.
Article 3: “At Hall’s Doorstep, but Toting Baggage” – New York Times, January 18, 2017
I found this article on a research data place (Gale), but when I looked on the website I couldn’t find the article. So I attached a citation in MLA format to this.
Kepner, Tyler. “At Hall’s Doorstep, but Toting Baggage.” New York Times, 18 Jan. 2017, p. B8(L).
Opposing Viewpoints in Context,
link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A477942538/OVIC?u=vbcps&xid=1a6cd794. Accessed 1 Feb.
This article again talks about the recent Hall of Fame inductees, but in a different light. It focuses on the voters’ and people’s opinion if they would have voted that didn’t agree with the use of performance enhancing drugs. It brings up Jose Cansesco’s book which called out a ton of MLB baseball players, including Ivan Rodriquez, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and other players who are on the Hall of Fame ballot. This brought to light the use of steroids by the “greats” of the MLB at that time. It talks about how in one accused player’s case, many voters didn’t vote for him because of the possibility that he took PEDs, it wasn’t even proven and that was enough to cause voters to withdraw their votes. The article even quotes one former player’s thoughts who didn’t take steroids saying “I would never vote for you to get into the Hall of Fame [talking about PED users] … You cheated…” This article differs from the last one talking about the hall of fame inductees because the last one focused on the accomplishments of the players, forgiving their steroid use while this one talked about how people would not vote for someone who “cheated” by using steroids. Not necessarily blaming the users, but saying that there are consequences for what they did. Because of this, I would say that the article is against steroid use, putting it on the conservative side, but I would put it closer to the middle of the spectrum. This is weird because the New York Times is usually a left leaning news source.
Article 4: “Usain Bolt: Sprinter loses one Olympic gold over teammate’s failed dope test” – CNN, January 25, 2017
This article is about Usain Bolt’s recent confiscation of his 2008 4×100, thus erasing Bolt’s “triple threat” accomplishment, three gold medals in three Olympics. It comments on how Bolt was upset about the whole thing, saying how this was “heartbreaking”. Overall, the article is “laissez-faire” about the use of steroids. It doesn’t lean to either side of the spectrum, making it neutral. I know this because it never flat out says “Steroids are bad and Naste Carter cheated,” and it doesn’t condone Carter’s use of steroids either. The article talks of how the use of PEDs is banned, but doesn’t state whether it’s against the use or not. It also mentions Russia’s Tatyana Lebedev, who had two metals confiscated from the 2008 Olympics also for the use of steroids. But that’s it. The article sticks to the fact that the athletes were punished for their use of the steroids and doesn’t stick a flag in the ground with its opinion. This is completely different than article one. In article one the writer talks about how these drugs are ruining the sport and how Naste Carter is a cheater etc., throwing his opinion out there. This article does a great job of remaining unbiased, which is a normal thing to do for CNN.
These four articles really show the range of opinions on the use of steroids and other PEDs across the spectrum. I think it showed these well because it pulled from the opinions of people who were in sports so they could get that primary source and feel the emotions of the interviewees which transferred into the articles. Unlike the other articles, the CNN article doesn’t pull quotations from anyone other than Bolt. It seems to me that people have either a strict view on steroids, or a lenient one and there isn’t much in between.